Patients: Female-run Ob/Gyn practice almost perfect

by Len Lear
Posted 6/4/21

I have seen countless reviews of businesses and non-profits on the internet since the World Wide Web was created in 1990, but I have never seen a group of reviews quite as overwhelmingly impressive as those from patients at Philadelphia Women's Health & Wellness in East Falls.

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Patients: Female-run Ob/Gyn practice almost perfect

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I have seen countless reviews of businesses and non-profits on the internet since the World Wide Web was created in 1990, but I have never seen a group of reviews quite as overwhelmingly impressive as those from patients at Philadelphia Women's Health & Wellness, 3300 Henry Ave. in East Falls, owned and operated by board-certified obstetrician/gynecologists — Dr. Victoria Myers, 49, of Chestnut Hill; Dr. Allison Keen, 50, of East Falls, and Dr. Jacqueline Kohl, 36, of Elkins Park.

Since the trio of specialists left Abington Hospital to open their collaborative practice last October, 88 reviews have been posted by patients on their website. Of those 88 reviews, 87 patients gave the practice five stars! The one who gave them four stars wrote that she had to wait a little longer than she thought she should while her insurance was being checked out. Even a patient named Daisy D. wrote on March 12 that she gave the practice five stars, despite the fact that she fainted in the office!

In a typical review, a Valerie S. wrote on May 3, “Dr. Myers was fantastic!!! The whole visit was unmatched, From the girls at the front desk to the assistant asking questions. It was an amazing experience!!! If I could give more than five stars, I would! I would HIGHLY recommend Dr. Myers and the practice!!!” (With an unprecedented 87 five-star reviews out of 88, I suggested to the three doctors that they open a restaurant — in their spare time.)

“In all my years at Abington Hospital, I wanted a smaller practice,” said Dr. Myers, a former Springside School student and Jefferson Medical School alumna who was an instructor at several medical institutions, including Harvard Medical School and Temple University Medical School.

“Over 2,200 patients so far have had appointments here, and an actual person answers the phone, not a machine. We don't feel like we have to get patients in and out. It's amazing what an extra five or 10 minutes with the doctor can do for a patient. Our goal is to have patients not have to wait at all. A women's practice started by women is not common. Most trainees (in ob/gyn) are now women, but most higher-ups are men.”

According to Dr. Keen, a Denver native, graduate of Drexel University Medical School and former administrative chief resident at Pennsylvania Hospital, the Covid-19 pandemic “actually benefited us in a way. Medical facilities that offer gyn have a three-month backlog, and we are not even close to that. Thousands are still waiting to get an appointment. Big institutions have a three-to-six-month wait for an appointment. That frustration benefited us.”

Dr. Myers added, “It's hard to do a gynecological exam by Zoom. It is comfortable here. Generally there are no people in the waiting room. We are lucky to have a phenomenal staff, which was mentioned in many of the reviews. They remember patients. They smile. That makes a big difference. A rude staff person can be a big issue. It is what people will remember.”  

Dr. Kohl, a South Philly native, Jefferson Medical School graduate and former administrative chief resident at Abington Jefferson Health who became an expert in gynecological surgery with a minimally invasive (robotic) approach, declared, “We love our jobs and want everyone to feel that (energy). It is evident to patients if people taking care of them are happy.” Dr. Keen added, “I am clearly a much happier person than I was in my previous job. There's a big difference now that we are in charge of ourselves.”

The seven-month-old, three-women practice has given up doing obstetrics and concentrates on gynecology. Dr. Linda Good, who started the Mt. Airy Family Practice in the late 1980s, told me several years ago that she was leaving her practice in part because of the extreme difficulty in getting reimbursed by insurance companies and the federal government (Medicare). We have all seen large medical bills for procedures for which only a small percentage was paid by the insurance agency.

When asked how they are dealing with this issue, Dr. Keen replied, “We do not have to worry about reimbursement as much as a family practice, which really struggles. We are on a lot of private practice Facebook pages. We are not out to make millions but to provide better medical care for patients as well as a better life for the three of us. We take all major insurance.”

In addition to gynecology, the medical trio screen for mental health and healthy living practices like proper diet and exercise. And they perform about 75 percent of their hysterectomies robotically, which are minimally invasive. “The robot is a wonderful tool,” said Dr. Kohl. “It offers precision. It can rotate more than a hand can. I have three robotic surgeries scheduled in the next 10 days at Einstein. (The three doctors are permitted to perform surgeries at the four Einstein Hospitals in the area, and they are available 24/7 for emergencies.) We love working as a team. Working for a big institution is not as rewarding.”

For more information: 267-341-1744 or phillywomens.com. Len Lear can be reached at lenlear@chestnuthilllocal.com.

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